In our text, Paul argues that if anyone had reason to have confidence in the flesh, he was that person. He goes on to enumerate his ancestral standing as a Hebrew and his personal achievements in keeping the Law. He says that really no one could surpass him in these things. But then he says an astounding thing: he counted all these things as loss and considered them rubbish. He gave them up. He ditched them! He trashed them! He let go of them all!
What would cause such an extreme change in Paul’s value system? He tells us: “in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” We must let go of whatever may be keeping us from knowing Christ Jesus. What are some of those things?
We certainly must let go of sin, works of the flesh, evil deeds. These are enumerated in several places. Sexual immorality, lying, drunkenness, greed, lust, pride, outbursts of anger, divisiveness, jealousy, envy, hatred, etc.
But what other things must we let go of?
What about my prejudicial thoughts toward people of different cultures, skin color, countries, political persuasions?
What about my desire to always get my way? To watch my programs, to take the vacation I want, to eat at my favorite restaurant?
What about my continued habit of “sneaking at peek” at that porn site when no one’s around?
What about failure to control my tongue? Gossip? Slander? Crude jokes? Backbiting? Tearing others down?
What about my needless fears? Fear of what people think of me? Fear of doing something different? Fear of letting go of myself and letting God take over? Fear of failure?
What about my inability to objectively examine myself in light of scripture and never admit I’ve been wrong?
What is it that you need to let go of? It could be just about anything. God will help you. Time to get on with it.